Lerena win will increase fortunes

Regional boxing belts aside, what SA's cruiserweight contender Kevin "Two Guns" Lerena will really be fighting for tomorrow night is the chance to open doors for bigger fights from the top four sanctioning bodies - the WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO.

Lerena, 25, will welcome Congolese Youri "El Toro" Kalenga, 29, in an IBO cruiserweight vacant title bout at Emperors Palace.

The 12 rounder will be the main attraction at the Golden Gloves tournament.

Lerena is rated No 2 by the WBO, No 6 by the WBC and IBF, while the WBA has him at No 11.

The left-hander, who is guided by Peter Smith in Fourways, Johannesburg, has 18 wins against a single loss.

Kalenga has held the WBA belt, albeit as an interim champion.

The France-based boxer has 23 wins in 26 fights.

After almost six years in the professional ring, and with a growing buzz around town about his chances to make it to the big time of boxing, Lerena finally gets his first real chance to show the world what he is made of.

And iIf he can live up to the hype, and look good against Kalenga, Lerena will set himself up for a crack at one of the top four.

"This is the first big step to bigger things. Winning is the most important thing. Fans must expect a good show," said Lerena.

Kalenga predicted a "stoppage win in four rounds".

Meanwhile, Lerena's stablemate Thulani "Tulz" Mbenge will put his SA welterweight belt on the line against Mzoxolo Ndwayana, while Nkululeko "Bulldog" Mhlongo will face Brandon Thysse for the SA junior middleweight belt.

There will be two more non-title fights and action will begin at 8pm.